Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

This week's meeting of the International Convention Standing Committee marked 40 years of the Vienna Convention, otherwise known as the Hallmarking Convention. Delegates acknowledged the end of a successful era and the beginning of an exciting new one. A dinner hosted by the Goldsmiths Company at Goldsmiths Hall celebrated the 40th Anniversary and guests from over 30 countries enjoyed dining in the splendour of the Livery Hall and the pageant of the Pikeman and Musketeers escorting the Guests of Honour to the table.

During the evening  Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company paid tribute to the work of the Convention members over the years and particularly the input of Chairman Ronald le Bas who retires as Chairman this week. Guests were entertained by the Ogmore Male Voice Choir, mainly comprised of employese of the Royal Mint who ended the event on an uplifting note.

The work started in earnest on Thursday as delegates from the 19 Member states of the  Convention, accompanied by some observers met to discuss current issues. The Convention is a treaty between contracting states to facilitate easy cross border trade for precious metal articles. During the forty years since the Convention was formed the jewllery industry has moved on significantly and international trade is now fundamental to its survival, making the work of the Convention even more important. Key points discussed focused on how to move the organisation forward, make it more fit for purpose and most importantly how to attract member countries  from  outside the EU to allow it to fully deliver its objectives. It was agreed reform is needed and a Working Group was formed to progress this.

The end of the meeting saw the election of Ms Dalia Larom, Head of the Standards Institute of Israel as the new Convention Chairman. Dalia paid tribute to the immense contribution Ronald Le Bas has made to the Convention over 28 years as a member including nine years as the longest serving Chairman. She praised him for his achievements in attracting more states to join the Convention and thanked him for his hard work, his generosity and his kindness. Accepting her new role Dalia committed to taking the Convention on the next steps of its journey.

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